Talk:Walter Cronkite

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Since the opening paragraph talks about Cronkite as a newsanchor, wouldn't the picture be more apt if it was one of him giving the news? The war photo didn't match the introduction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:17, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


Cronkite is retired, yes?

Has been since 1981. Mike H 22:50, Aug 22, 2004 (UTC)

He's had a rather active retirement, though. 07:27, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

The circumstances surrounding Walter Cronkite's retirement had nothing to do with his age or any CBS retirement policy. Cronkite was forced out of the anchor chair in a Kremlinesque behind-the-scenes battle orchestrated by the talent agent for both Cronkite and Dan Rather, Richard Leibner. This should be researched and added--it's all been told in print before--but the fact is that Cronkite could have gone on to anchor for many more years if Leibner had not forced CBS' hand by threatening to move Rather to another network of they didn't remove Cronkite and replace him with Rather in 1981. CBS agreed to this reprehensible threat and bears half the blame, if not all of it. Roger Mudd, the other candidate for Cronkite's position following Cronkite's expected retirement many years later resigned over the incident. It all came down to Leibner betraying the client who helped his own father build his company in order to dramatically increase his commission by installing Rather at a far higher salary. Link2dan (talk) 10:50, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

When is somebody going to wake up and correct this? I wrote this two years ago. Link2dan (talk) 13:35, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Roger Mudd quit because he wanted the anchor job and CBS chose Rather, not him. And, no, this was not a dastardly trick by Mudd that failed. That is how these negotiations go. At the time, battlefield coverage in a foreign land was part of the experience preferred by the World War II generation that ran CBS. Mudd had no such experience. If Rather had been passed over, he would have gone to NBC to vie for the anchor job. CBS knew that and chose Rather. Mudd was looking out for himself. Nothing wrong with that.
Now onto your opinion about the Cronkite retirement. So you are saying that CBS could have gotten Cronkite for LESS money and Rather for MORE money and even then they chose Rather? That means either Cronkite wanted to retire and become anchor emeritus or CBS wanted to keep Rather a lot more than they wanted Cronkite to stay on longer or both. There is nothing dastardly in that, either. --Javaweb (talk) 23:20, 19 September 2011 (UTC)Javaweb

Biography assessment rating comment[edit]

WikiProject Biography Assessment Drive

The article may be improved by following the WikiProject Biography 11 easy steps to producing at least a B article. -- Yamara 17:24, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

RCA - CBS[edit]

"RCA made a corporate decision not to fund NBC News at the levels CBS funded CBS News. Consequently, CBS News acquired a reputation for accuracy and depth in broadcast journalism."

Does it necessarily follow that a big-budget news show has better journalism? Lee M 14:19, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

CBS News, at that time, had the full backing of William Paley, the network founder. Bigger budgets meant more of everything for CBS News, at a time when there were only three networks in the USA broadcasting television news with a national and international focus. Of course, the skill of CBS News personnel in that era, didn't hurt, either. Kurtbw 12:01, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Missing shows?[edit]

I see no mention of the show "21st Century" which aired from 1967-70. And then "Universe" (1980-82). This article doesn't seem to be so much an encyclopedia page, as an article about certain aspects of his career. DavidRavenMoon (talk) 23:48, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Removed text[edit]

I removed the following sentences, which came after the part about Cronkite announcing Kennedy's death:

People have now compared that to CNN's Carol Lin saying: "Yeah. This just in. You are looking at obviously a very disturbing live shot there. That is the World Trade Center, and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. CNN Center right now is just beginning to work on this story, obviously calling our sources, and trying to figure out exactly what happened. But clearly, something relatively devastating happening this morning there on the south end of the island Manhattan. That is, once again, a picture of one of the towers of the World Trade Center."

I don't see what this has to do with Walter Cronkite. Nor do I see what the basis of comparison between the two is. That Lin said a lot more? That Cronkite was more eloquent? What? --Angr 21:06, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

People know where they were when Kennedy was assassinated. Only one other moment do they know where they were after afterwards: terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. That's the only reason why Cronkite was compared with Carol Lin. Because he was the first anchor to tell many Americans of the death of President Kennedy, like she was the first anchor to tell many Americans of the terrorist attacks. -- SNIyer12, 23:10, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
People remember where they were when all sorts of stuff happened, and it's not up to you to tell them that they don't. Carol Lin's quote is appropriate as part of the Carol Lin article, not this one. --PHenry 19:56, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
"Only one other moment do they know where they were after afterwards" Perhaps you weren't around for the Challenger disaster? The fall of the Berlin Wall? The Tiananmen Square massacre? Be serious...
*Septegram*Talk*Contributions* 00:37, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Or the Death of John Lennon or the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. I agree, that belongs on the page about Ms. Lin and/or the 9-11 attacks. (To be perfectly honest, I didn't even hear it. The words I remember are those of the friend who called to wake me and tell me about it. --Bluejay Young (talk) 18:03, 22 August 2009 (UTC)


In what way was WC an autodidact if he attended the University of Texas? Faboba 22:47(GMT), 31 Sep 2005


The article states "He dropped out of college in his junior year, in the Fall term of 1935" however the source cited ([1]) makes it clear that it should read instead "He dropped out of college after his sophomore year, following the Spring term of 1935" [he never returned in the Fall]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 14 May 2014 (UTC)


Middle name[edit]

Is it LeLand, or Leland? Please respond here, or on my talk page. Эйрон Кинни 07:47, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm sure it's "Leland". I don't know of any case of internal capitalization of someone's middle name, and I very much doubt that Cronkite would go in for that sort of thing. (Now, BarBara Luna, on the other hand... <G>) --Chris 16:03, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Internal capitalization sometimes occurs in surnames. For example, Henry Addison DeLand, the founder of Stetson University. The same is true for DeLand, Florida, the city in which the principal campus of Stetson University is located, and which bears his name. John Paul Parks (talk) 21:14, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Documentary on WCC Chatham Radio[edit]

I presume that in this paragraph from the article:

On February 15, 2005, he went into the studio at CBS to record narration for the documentary WCC Chatham Radio, a documentary about Guglielmo Marconi and his Chatham station, which became the busiest ship-to-shore wireless station in North America from 1914 to 1994. The documentary was directed by Christopher Seufert of Mooncusser Films and the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center in April of 2005.

the last clause should read "and premiered at the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center in April of 2005". I haven't had time to research it yet... --Chris 16:01, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


Whew. I did quite a bit of cleanup on this article tonight, changing most of the sections and trying to put events in something of a proper chronological order. I did not tackle much of the "retirement" content -- it's too much at the moment, and I cannot confirm most of the events listed. Left the cleanup tag in place there. Comments welcome. 08:36, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

I tried to clean up a bit of it, and group statements - general activities post-retirement, personal events post-retirement, and his "outspoken" comments grouped together. NickBurns 23:08, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Statements on the Iraq War[edit]

It seems entirely politically motivated, if not outright libelous, to assert that Cronkite's views on the Iraq war have been inconsistent or heavily criticized, when the putative supporting evidence is an article in the SF Chronicle that makes no mention of any inconsistency or criticism. So, I have deleted such assertion at the end of the "Outspoken Commentary" section ending the page, but retained the link to the article footnoted. Gideondev 02:27, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Lyndon Johnson remark[edit]

From - The Age, Australian news paper: - President Lyndon Johnson, after hearing Cronkite's broadcast, reportedly remarked: "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."

Not sure which is more accurate.

And as an author...?[edit]

There's nothing about his books??? — Johan the Ghost seance 18:32, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Confusing text[edit]

I wonder if someone could tell me what this means?

"He would explain later that radio stations at the time did not want people to use their real names for fear of taking their listeners with them."

"Taking their listeners with them?" I could rewrite it to make more sense, if I only understood it in the first place. The only meaning I can think of is that perhaps they were expected to change their broadcast names if they went to work at other stations. Mordant Kitten 23:31, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

My assumption is that if his radio show was named Walter Conkrite then he could leave the station for a competitor and carry his audience with him to the new Walter Conkrite show. But if the show was named something else, i.e. Walter Wilcox, then the station owns the name of the show and if he left, the station could keep the show and put someone else in the spot or kill the show and prevent the competitor from using the name. How effective this would be at retaining the audience is anybody's guess.

cheers (talk) 14:43, 15 December 2007 (UTC)H. Hall

I do not think it would be very effective at all.

For example, do you think that Timothy Dalton was equivalent to Clark Gable in performing the role of Rhett Butler? John Paul Parks (talk) 16:13, 24 December 2008 (UTC)


How is there no criticism section for Crokite? This is just further proof that Wikipedia is a shill. --Haizum μολὼν λαβέ 19:30, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

I have already replied to much the same message over at Talk:Jane Fonda. But, for the wider community, let me reiterate that in general, having a separate section for criticism is discouraged by the manual of style. See Wikipedia:Words_to_avoid#Article_structures_that_can_imply_a_point_of_view. Silly rabbit 20:39, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

No criticism here, but is there any chance that someone knowledgeable could add something about Cronkite's interest in seafaring and considerable experience sailing and boating? Jim Rosenthal 20:56, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

According to this very article he was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. That would be add some depth to your question about sailing and boating.
One note, this article lists a category of "United States Coast Guard officers". Being a member of the auxiliary is not the same as being an officer in the armed forces. I recommend that he be deleted from this category.Cliffwalk (talk) 14:03, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

There are reasons why Cronkite was asked not be be a part of the 1964 Republican Convention. It would be worthwile noting this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:58, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

How about something on his political biases towards being a liberal/progressive? It would be hard to take his comments and actions at face value without a reference point on what he believes. IOW, perhaps the reason he considers FOX so far to the Right is because of how far he is to the Left. Or do we just accept that he's the "most trusted man in America" because some spin-doctor cooked that phrase up? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:42, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry to dissuade you of your opinion, but Cronkite's status as "most trusted" was not a spin-doctor's work. He was recognized as such in a nationwide poll of Americans in (I believe) 1972. If I recall, he outpolled leading politicians of the day by over 15 point. So, sorry, but your right-wing biases are wrong on this. Now, how about learning how to sign your rants and not hide behind your IP address. Tfleming (talk) 22:28, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Least of all permitted in this article among the potential criticisms of Cronkite are the allegations of author Deborah Davis in her biography of Katharine Graham that Cronkite was strongly connected to the U.S. intelligence community. Those allegations can be found here. RogerReggin (talk) 13:59, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Article lacking in objectivity[edit]

Whether or not there should be a separate "criticism" section is a matter of style, but this article is extremely one-sided, and it needs to be rewritten to reflect a more neutral assessment of his career. The article glorifies Cronkite and overlooks several of his journalistic flaws. In at least two respects, he was not objective. His decision to travel to Vietnam during the war, and once having been there, to criticize the U.S. military effort, was viewed by many as a betrayal of the government and as extremely damaging to the morale of the troops. His nightly antic of reciting the number of days the hostages were held captive in Iran also served to portray President Carter as weak and vacilating, and as unable to secure the hostages release, and undoubtedly strengthened the bargaining position of the Iranian captors.

The extended recital of his newscast on November 22, 1963, the day on which President Kennedy was assassinated, is completely overdone. Such a transcript is more appropriately part of an article that describes the events of the assassination, and, in my view, does not belong in a biography of Walter Cronkite. The manner in which most people learned about the assassination depends on which channel they turned on, and Cronkite is not entitled to any special consideration or merit if, through luck, his happened to be the channel that was first consulted. A lot of people learned about the assassination by watching NBC News, for example, so would a transcript of that proceeding be appropriate in a biography of an NBC news reader?

I came in here to suggest that the details of television coverage of the Kennedy assassination might be moved to a separate article. They could put in what all 3 of the networks did. --Bluejay Young (talk) 18:07, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

We also need to bear in mind that the news reports, in most cases, were prepared by someone else, who actually did the investigative work, and that Cronkite merely read them over the air. John Paul Parks (talk) 16:08, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

I understand a bit of your concern, but am worried you're confusing objectivity with non-criticism of the government. Obviously, Cronkite was willing to criticize the Vietnam War effort and also Carter's weaknesses. As long as one is objective in doing so, it is perfectly acceptable, if not required, for journalists to criticize the governments when it is acting irresponsibly. Tfleming (talk) 22:31, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
By saying the government was acting irresponsibly during the period Cronkite was visiting Vietnam merely shows your bias. It does not address the question of Cronkite's criticism. Abenr (talk) 19:37, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I would think the proper thing to do is find quotes from other journalists who could point out flaws in his work. --Bluejay Young (talk) 18:07, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Walter Cronkite was a lifelong member of the World Federalist Association (now renamed) and received it's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for helping forge the ideas of the movement to the masses. He believed very much that a One World Government was the path to a better life on the Planet. There is no mention of this anywhere, and if wikipedia is to be trusted, surely there is a reason to include controversial subjects, that can be proved true, like this. There are several of the same videos on Youtube which prove with empirical fact, this is the truth. These are not photoshop tricks. Hillary Clinton, then first lady, was a special guest via video when he won the award, and she thanked him for doing good work for the cause. Sunpilot2 (Sunpilot2)[1] —Preceding undated comment added 20:33, 27 February 2013 (UTC)


Removed text[edit]

Removed reference to Cronkite serving as a Coast Guard officer during WWII. He is an active member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, but that is not the same thing. Cuprum17 (talk) 01:52, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Outspoken commentary[edit]

What is the point of the 1st statement?

"On October 29, 2004, Walter Cronkite appeared on CNN's Larry King Live television program, just four days before the 2004 presidential election."

So ... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rlbarton (talkcontribs) 19:41, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


Frank (user) has been reverted many edits about Cronkite being in bad health. On closer exam, Frank's reasoning makes sense. The initial report is a blog. However, many, many reliable sources are reporting the blog.

Frank is starting to violate 3RR but Frank has a point. The initial source could be correct but BLP is more stringent than porn star or video game articles.

There is a good reference that says that he has been ill for several years and that CBS is not commenting on recent reports. This is credible.

I'm starting this discussion so Frank won't have to 9RR or 20RR. Others should discuss it too rather than make Frank a criminal. User F203 (talk) 20:27, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

First, please read WP:3RR before making such a claim, especially WP:3RR#Exceptions, which in particular refers to WP:BLP. Reporting that the man is gravely ill based on a single blog posting, no matter how many times it's been recycled in other sources, is as blatant a BLP violation as any. Second, your edits are among the several reverts I've made; you could make things a little easier by reverting others yourself instead of putting in the material that violates policy.  Frank  |  talk  20:35, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

From Reports on CBS newsman Walter Cronkite's failing health 'overstated,' rep says: Walter Cronkite's spokeswoman denied Friday that the legendary newsman is gravely ill, saying he's recuperating from a recent sickness. "The news reports that have gone out are overstated," said a spokeswoman for the 92-year-old CBS icon.  Frank  |  talk  21:03, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

As is becoming so depressingly common here, the LEDE (of all things) for this article is turning into incomprehensible hash, rife with sloppy characterizations of the latest iterations of vague news stories reporting that somebody is speculating that he might be dying or not, while in the meantime anyone wanting to know who he is or what is notable about him will be left with the impression that he must be important because he's dying. Or not. Do we really think that people come here looking for the latest news on Cronkite's health? I certainly don't pick up an encyclopedia to find out whether Kate has finally filed the divorce papers or whether the judge will grant Madonna permission to adopt another child next Tuesday...does anyone else? Really? Steveozone (talk) 06:01, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Page protection[edit]

Over 70 edits in the past 24 hours related to a reported illness/death... no reliable sources. I went ahead and semi-protected the page. As for the discussion above, reverting unsourced or poorly sourced statements that relation to BLP concerns is not subject to a 3RR violation. Without reliable sources reports of his death or illness cannot be added.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 07:52, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

The reliable sources [1] deny that he's "gravely ill" or whatever. The issue then is whether to say nothing, and make readers wonder what's going on; or to report the reliably sourced denial. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 07:57, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I would suggest that we actually say something about the speculations, and the eventual denial. The event DID happen, and for us to pretend it never existed is almost a disservice to the people who use Wikipedia. Arbiteroftruth Plead Your Case 22:38, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Wikinews is that way.  Frank  |  talk  22:42, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Wikinews is that way, but that doesn't stop us from reporting on news here, does it? Everything that has been recorded here have been news at some point or another. Using your reasoning would mean actually abolishing Wikipedia! Arbiteroftruth Plead Your Case 22:52, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
To be perfectly honest with you, I had trouble finding any reference to this event. There are plenty of issues that go unreported and IMO covering this would be WP:UNDUE.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 22:54, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
My point is that the idea of publishing blow-by-blow information is not what an encyclopedia is about. Either he's sick or not; we really can't be sure since there are conflicting events. That's not encyclopedic. When it becomes known, in reliable sources, that may be a good time to add it here. When it becomes a newsworthy event in itself, as it has become with Abe Vigoda, then perhaps it's worth including in an article...but even that becomes old hat after a while. The reports of Cronkite's supposed illness are macabre, in my opinion; he deserves some privacy, as we all do. I don't understand the newspapers' rush to publish "media reports" about his illness. Even they recognize what they are publishing is gossip; they're either not giving sources or explicitly identifying that it was a blog posting they're quoting from. That's because if they actually report it themselves as if it's actual news, they have a higher standard (legal and professional) to meet. They can't meet it, so they stoop to reporting that someone else is reporting something. And we only make it worse if we report that they are reporting that someone else is reporting....  Frank  |  talk  13:40, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
A friend of mine told me that Cronkite had died. I advised them to check wikipedia, because the second a public figure dies, someone posts it here. That's reason enough to protect the page - to keep the overzealous and misinformed from posting it, and misleading the viewers. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 13:49, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Cronkite hasn't died, but his family confirmed he's very ill. The article is still being "updated" with his death. If it continues, temporary semi-protection may be in order (again). APK is your own Personal Jesus 20:01, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Sources are saying family said he's seriously ill and likely terminally so[edit]

[2], [3], etc. (talk) 01:26, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

That's an old rumor by now. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 04:03, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Okay, if it's just a rumor, then why is he dead? That seems to be the logical extension of terminal illness. (talk) 01:16, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
The logical extension of all human life is mortal death. Steveozone (talk) 04:15, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
The point the IP made is that the claims during the latter part of Cronkite's life that he was dying have been proved true because we now know that Cronkite died of chronic illness that he had for years, and that his doctors knew he was dying. However, the article couldn't include details of his final illness whilst he was alive, due to a lack of reliable sourcing. Correct & improve (talk) 14:26, 18 July 2009 (UTC)


I've temporarily reprotected the article. Nakon 00:37, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

'Extended battle'[edit]

Is that description of his death, in the lede, appropriate? It sounds unencyclopedic an unnecessarily overemphasizes the natural death of a nonagenarian. I question whether a common cause of death of an very elderly person should be in the lede at all. Description of his death anywhere in the article would be better phrased as something along the lines of: 'died of cerebrovascular disease, which he suffered from for the last x number of years of his life' Correct & improve (talk) 01:50, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. Then again, there's an apparently inexorable and reflexive action at WP whenever these things happen. Steveozone (talk) 02:03, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I also agree that his death doesn't need to be mentioned in the lede and am going to move it. Terence7 (talk) 22:25, 18 July 2009 (UTC)


"Historic" should not be used to mean "important" (even if it is sometimes used that way colloquially) as it is in the section titles Historic moments as anchor and Other historic events. All recorded past events are, by nature, historic. Some involved editor please retitle these appropriately. — AjaxSmack 02:17, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

It seems appropriate to use "historic" to signify "things you find in history books." Not every event in the past is "historic." The American Heritage Dictionary defines "historic" as "having importance in or influence in history." Get the habit of checking a good dictionary for word meanings. Edison (talk) 02:22, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. I was confusing it with "historical." — AjaxSmack 02:52, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Addition/change to movie section[edit]

Mr. Cronkite narrated The Dream is Alive, and this should be reflected in his movie section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by David.r.barnes (talkcontribs) 04:09, 18 July 2009 (UTC)


I've changed "extended battle" to "long illness" in the lede, per conventions. I also removed the mention of cerebrovascular disease from the lede, as the Death section already mentions that he had been suffering from it. Once the papers come out over the next few days with more details, i'm going to rewrite the section and maybe update the article to push it to GA and then FA. As it is, its a low B-class, and with the sources that are probably being written as we speak, it'll be enough to cite everything and write some brilliant prose. And that's the way it is. Firestorm Talk 04:27, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

A good plan. The article should get there. Mr. Cronkite was (please forgive the lack of sources for this and read the article) dedicated to completely objective reporting, relentless in his efforts to suppress personal bias, tried to be an unemotional "hardass," and largely succeeded. Where he failed in that endeavor, he made his most important contribution; he was an Uncle, who showed us how these objectives are important, while reminding us that no truly human being can be fairly expected to always report news that way. It would be fitting that his article might now be edited carefully, with discussion proceeding in light of his own editing values. Steveozone (talk) 04:41, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I would like to push it to FA to do justice to Cronkite. As a journalist, I recognize his incredible contributions to the field, and I think he deserves some of the best prose Wikipedia has to offer. As it is now, pretty much everything from the Historical Moments section down is significantly undercited, and we can do better. I propose that we wait a week or two for the dust to settle and obits/features to be written, and then i'll start working on it. Of course, i'm not proposing a moratorium on editing, as that would be silly, but I think we should refrain from making many big edits until the dust settles and the sources themselves figure out all the details. Firestorm Talk 05:02, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
A good plan. It should work. (See this reference) which is more difficult, but a model of that method of longterm resolving. Steveozone (talk) 05:08, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I got an RSS FEED from NASA on July 16 at 9:00 PM "The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the death of veteran journalist Walter Cronkite" with this link So if the RSS was sent on the 16th at 9:00 PM he could not have died on the 17th. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lookinhere (talkcontribs) 08:39, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Recommendation for edit in "Activities from 1981 to 2009" section[edit]

I have noticed in the section about Cronkite's "Activities from 1981 to 2009 that nothing tells what years Cronkite hosted the Vienna New Year's Concert on PBS. Does anyone know what years he hosted that special, and can it be edited? Vgcap 11:01, 18 July 2009 (EST)

Yes check.svg Done Expanded and cited. Sswonk (talk) 15:28, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

(Lack of) balance[edit]

There is a very serious lack of balance in the sections dealing with JFK's assassination and the Vietnam War. For the JFK assassination we go into great, granular, (almost?) un-encyclopedic detail, and then provide exactly two sentences on the Vietnam War. While certainly important and momentous, the coverage that Cronkite provided tot he JFK assassination was comparable to that of other media voices,

However, his coverage of the Vietnam War came to define him as a public figure, opinion maker, and was a source of vast controversy that continues to this day. A simple websearch and a cursory view of the press coverage gives a lot of importance to his role in the history of the Vietnam War, whereas his reporting on the JFK assassination sometimes is not even mentioned.

WP:UNDUE speaks of the need of due balance, and we are failing this for no discernible reason.

Both issues should be covered in their respective articles, not in a biography about a peripheral character (it is, after all, just a journalist, a reporter). but other possibilities exist:

1) Cut the section down to two lines, like that of Vietnam.

2) Create a sub-article as per WP:SUMMARY

3) Leave as is, but expand Vietnam section to give due prominence. For example, quoting his statement, as is done with the reports of the Kennedy assassination, and giving background and context to these comments based on WP:RS that have given thought to the topic.

We definitely should cut this section, and I would have been bold, but I want to hear comments form more regular editors on this first. As its stands, it is an affront to the encyclopedic impetus that informs us. --Cerejota (talk) 11:22, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

You are absolutely right, the section on JFK is far too long and most of it can probably be transwiki'd to Wikiquote. However, I am asking that we refrain from making huge structural changes to the article for a few more days, until the flurry of edits dies down and we can get some real work done. Once the newspapers and magazines have had their say, then we'll also have much better sources to work with. A few sections above I express my intent to take this to FA, and trimming down this section is one of the changes I would like to make. Currently, though, the article is unstable and making big, sweeping changes probably wouldn't stick just yet. Firestorm Talk 12:17, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the Cerejota assessment, and it would be nice to have a complete overhaul of the article, but that would be nice for many articles of similar importance. I would also like to see the Legacy section balanced, the Cronkite Papers section while well written is improperly/poorly sourced and probably 3 times the size it should be. A "fourth way" for the Vietnam/JFK issue would be to cut JFK to a quarter of the current length and expand Vietnam to match. Unfortunately, to get to the status of a GA-class article a great deal of work needs to be done. I would go ahead and be bold without eviscerating the JFK section especially if you can find sources for that and an expanded Vietnam section. I think you can do this immediately. Sources go along way toward justifying major edits. Sswonk (talk) 12:41, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
This is what I came in to suggest. I thought maybe television and radio coverage of the assassination could have its own page and tell what each of the networks did, and also the award-winning coverage by KLIF and KBOX (most people heard about it on the radio, not TV). --Bluejay Young (talk) 18:12, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Copyright infringement[edit]

I have been trying to add inline citations to sections without references. IN doing so, the section Walter Cronkite Papers was a copy and paste from News Media History - Walter Cronkite The Walter Cronkite Papers I tried to copyedit this section somewhat, but another source is difficult to find. Can someone now compare the section to the original article to see if it has been changed/copyedited/paraphrased enough to not be copyright infringement. I tried somewhat. I will continue looking through the article to add sources, and now will also keep an eye out for any other copyright problems. If folks are trying for GA as mentioned above there are surely a huge lacking of references, even direct quotations are lacking their sources.SriMesh | talk 01:25, 20 July 2009 (UTC)


his wife couldn't have been born in 1940 that is an error ```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

1940 is the year they married. Her birth date (1916) is given later in the article. PhGustaf (talk) 01:50, 20 July 2009 (UTC)


Any information on alleged anti-American leanings or on his defeatism in 1968 and 2006?Lestrade (talk) 16:05, 19 July 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

No, there is no information on that. If you have a reliable source for that, then show us. However, questioning the government and telling us the facts without spin is actually what being an American is all about. And that's the way it is. Firestorm Talk 03:01, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Am I allowed to ask a question? Your statement," there is no information on that," is very declarative and categorical. It seems to be the absolute final word on the topic. However, we live in a big world. Somewhere, there may be a reliable source for a statement about his defeatism. Is there any harm in looking? This article says that he turned the U. S. public against the Viet Nam War. Did he try to turn the public againt the war in Iraq? Maybe he had more "spin" than you think. Did he merely tell us the facts or did he project a bit of his personal point of view?Lestrade (talk) 13:04, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

It seems my reply was misinterpreted. I meant that there is no information in the article about that. As you can see from my next sentence, I welcome reliable sources that say so, if you can find them. World Net Daily is not a reliable source. If the sources are out there and you find them, of course WP:NPOV requires that we present all significant viewpoints. In short, I don't have sources for it. If you can find them, then go ahead and do so. Just don't let one WND article send you on a wild goose chase. Firestorm Talk 13:15, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Missing from "Walter Cronkite" article[edit]

On the section that refrences the Apollo 11 moon landing, it does not include that Cronkite concluded the broadcast , saying "The date is inevitable. July 20th, 1969. Man lands, & walks on the moon. It is a day that will be remembered for as long as man exists." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:21, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

On the section referencing the co-anchor of the Apollo 11 moon landing- the name is mispelled- it was former astronaut Wally SCHIRRA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:46, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

The article describes how Cronkite was inducted into one hall of fame but excludes the fact that he was also inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in the class of 1996. I would have made this addition myself but the article seems to still be semi-protected. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:36, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Cronkite was the automated voice over for TEX, the Telephone Enrollment Exchange at The University of Texas at Austin. His voice would accept or deny students' choices for class registration, give financial information, direct your call, and at the end of the call would say, "Good night, and good luck." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:22, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

No "Controversies" section.

No acknowledgement that he ended his broadcasts, "And that's the way it is on day X of" whatever he called the Iran hostage situation. Americans had and have been held hostage before and since without any network news organization ending with anything like that. Bluespapa (talk) 19:25, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Public credibility and trustfulness - additional information[edit]

The following may further illuminate/illustrate this section:

In his own words from NPR's Diane Rehm Show

"The ethics of a … responsible journalist is to put his or her biases, his or her prejudices aside in an attempt to be really fair to all sides at all times, and my pride is that I think I did that fairly well during my years." --Jdpond (talk) 13:33, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Missing major Watergate broadcast[edit]

Cronkite's back-to-back, two-part segment on Watergate, which launched the Post's Watergate story in October, 1972 was enormously significant. I'm surprised not to see this called out. The White House called CBS and was furiously trying to get them to edit and/or back off the broadcast.

Ben Bradlee just recently wrote this about the event in Newsweek: "In October 1972, Cronkite devoted two segments, back to back, to the Watergate story. The first was 14 minutes, the second eight. I think that second night was curtailed by CBS chairman William S. Paley because Paley was scared of it. The fact that Cronkite did Watergate at all (let alone at that length) gave the story a kind of blessing, which is exactly what we needed—and exactly what The Washington Post lacked. It was a political year, and everyone was saying, "Well, it's just politics, and here's the Post trying to screw Nixon." We were the second-biggest newspaper in the country trying to scramble for a good story—whereas Cronkite was the reigning dean of television journalists. When he did the Watergate story, everyone said, "My God, Cronkite's with them." Kewe65 (talk) 17:39, 29 July 2009 (UTC)


Is Krankheyt a Dutch cognate with the German Krankheit ("sickness"), as it appears to be? Sca (talk) 17:25, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Under "Personal Life," his daughter Kathy's maiden surname is listed twice. Shouldn't that read "...Cronkite (Kathy) Ikard?" (talk) 19:19, 14 September 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:17, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Last on-air footage[edit]

Walter Cronkite developed a close relationship with the Founder and Executive Chairman of Retirement Living TV (RLTV), John C. Erickson.

Cronkite was instrumental in the founding of the network and later worked together with Erickson (John C. Erickson) to create a series of editorials known as the "Cronkite Chronicles".

The "Cronkite Chronicles" is the last on-air footage of this media legend. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 27 August 2009 (UTC)


Going through the Kennedy Assassination section, do we really need to know what the commercials were?

  • "A commercial for Instant Nescafe coffee and a sponsor bumper (for Best Foods)"
  • "bumper for the scheduled episode of Route 66 to air that night"
  • "sponsor of the second half of the program (Carnation)"
  • "In the middle of a Friskies pet food commercial,"

It's good that it's detailed, but this is a bit much. I'd do it myself, but the article is semi-protected. (talk) 12:16, 25 September 2009 (UTC)


Tinton5 replaced the protection, there was no vandalism in the weeks it wasn't, I hardly think it's necessary and it makes Cronkite, who would be largely unknown to likely vandals although not to aspiring newspersons, more controversial than he in fact is . (talk) 09:00, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes[edit]

This article is one of a number selected for the early stage of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are being considered for level 1 pending changes protection.

The following request appears on that page:

Comments on the suitability of theis page for "Pending changes" would be appreciated.

Please update the Queue page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any much more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 00:36, 17 June 2010 (UTC).

Tet Was an American Victory[edit]

Walter Cronkite did some inaccurate reporting regarding the effects of Tet. I'm a Vietnam veteran and Tet was a disaster for the North Vietnamese. We decimated their ranks, killing more than 30,000 of them and the Viet Cong never did recover. With the ensuing CORDS/Phoenix program we pretty much eradicated the rest of the Viet Cong so that the North was forced to use conventional warfare tactics, something which they were no good at. With Linebacker I & II we brought North Vietnam to its knees and forced them to sign the Paris Peace Accords, thus ending the war. We left in 1972 and three years later the South Vietnamese lost, not us. Tet was a sweeping victory for the US. How could Cronkite have been so wrong? Why did he falsely report Tet? Was he swept up in the peace fever sweeping the country? Where was his objectivity as a news reporter? This matter bears investigation. (talk) 12:26, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Cronkite was pro-war until the Tet offensive. Then, General Abrams, the commander of troops in Vietnam, told him the war was not winnable. Abrams was Cronkite's old friend from WW2. During the offensive, the enemy attacked South Vietnam's major cities. Imagine if during World War II, the Japanese Army had attacked Washington and New York simultaneously. World War2 and Korea were the frames of reference for American leadership. Cronkite was reporting what he saw. --Javaweb (talk) 15:23, 2 October 2011 (UTC)Javaweb

peace fever[edit]

i can*t resist * though comments are supposed to be strictly constructive we suspect in the final filter there is an undercurrent of humorous perspective * so *tet was an american victory*? did that include the assaults on almost every major city and region? they were *forced to sign the peace accord*? perhaps the above writer forgets the famous photo of helicopters atop the us embassy as desperate crowds mob the embassy while the combined vietcong and north vietnamese swept unapposed into the city? and that expression *peace fever* is so innocently psychotic * what bears investigation is the cranial neural connections of the poster * ah out into the sun * (talk) 19:11, 21 May 2012 (UTC)grumpy

This is what happens when military success is measured by what's shown on TV (and you are talking about the picture made during the evacuation 7 years after the Tet offense). Karl Kuzmich (talk) 13:57, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

New biography[edit]

Just happened upon a Huff Post article about a new bio of Cronkite that has been published, and (right-wingers rejoice!) it includes negative aspects, finally allowing reliably sourced criticism, as it appears. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:56, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Biased article[edit]

This article is extremely biased in that it completely ignores Cronkite's communist/globalist connections and his unethical behavior during his career. He expended considerable effort during his time with CBS and in his retirement thereafter supporting and promoting subversive causes harmful to the United States while maintaining a façade of respectability. There is plenty of information on this subject on the Internet, and the facts were known years before he croaked. For example, see this Accuracy In Media article, published the same year as his death. I'd like to see a bit more balance in coverage — at least more balance than "Uncle Walter" ever gave his television audience. — QuicksilverT @ 06:30, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

I agree. Why is it protected? --Karl Kuzmich (talk) 13:38, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Contradictory information[edit]

The article says that Cronkite never closed with his trademark "that's the way it is" if he had offered commentary in the program. But then it goes on to directly quote his JFK assassination commentary, which ended with the "that's the way it is" quote. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Incorrect final sign-off[edit]

On Walter Cronkite's final broadcast for the CBS Evening News, he said "That's the way is *was*" (not "is"). I know because I watched it live, and I'll never forget it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:02, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

LA VItesse dela lumiere[edit]

comment peut on voyager dans le temps comme einstein disait en allant tout simplement au dela de 300 000 km sec cest un peut farfelue en quoi cette particule a un impact sur le temps .le temps et le mouvement ne sont nullement relie prenner exemple sur le son si je me deplace dans le sens du son a une vitesse superieur a celui ci je le depasse pour ne plus lentendre mais il se produit en effet de ralentissement de la musique dans mes oreille et le contraire si je fonce vers le son je devance se que la personne exemple veut dire mais jamais je ne vais entendre ce quelle na pas encore dit je ne lentendrait plus cest tout meme chose pour la lumiere si lunivers est infinie comme il dit alrs en depasse seulement des molecules pour en rejoindre dautre voila sapre reveur se einstein brillant mais imparfait cetait un homme apres tout .... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:19, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

"Historic moments as anchor".[edit]

Although it is a work of fiction, the movie "Apollo 13" shows some real clips of Cronkite. Should that be included as a historic moment? 08:39, 10 June 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Old wombat (talkcontribs)


The section on his notable moments as an anchor is way too long; it's similar to articles about works of fiction that provide a too-detailed plot summary. While I agree that some sample should certainly be here to illustrate his style, what we have now is overboard. Before I take the knife to it, I do wonder if some of it should simply be moved to assassination of John F. Kennedy, reaction to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, or perhaps even breaking news? That last one is quite short, though already a bit too US-centric, and this would seem an excellent early example of a news story being reported as it unfolded. Thoughts? Matt Deres (talk) 15:48, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 December 2013[edit]

This section will go underneath the quote section in the retirement section When Cronkite's retirement approached he wanted to leave while he was on top of his game. There was two contenders to the throne, Roger Mudd and Dan Ruther. This was bad news for CBS because they feared a big drop in ratings. As time passed they couldn't come to a decision. They finally decided to give the choice to Cronkite. He finally chose Dan Rather. The reason was because "of his greater experience in news coverage." Rpgarfi (talk) 02:08, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Also, if reliable sources can be provided, this information might be a better fit for the CBS Evening News article than this one. --ElHef (Meep?) 02:16, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 December 2013[edit]

This will go right after the long quote in his retirement section: When Cronkite's retirement approached he wanted to leave while he was on top. There was two contenders to the throne, Roger Mudd and Dan Rather. This was bad news for CBS because they feared a big drop in ratings. As the time passed they couldn't come to a decision. They finally decided to give the choice to Cronkite. He finally chose Dan Rather. The reason was because "of his greater experience in news coverage." [1]

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Rpgarfi (talkcontribs) 05:28, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. I concur with ElHef's suggestion that this would be better suited for CBS Evening News, but perhaps others will disagree. In any event, discussion can proceed without a formal edit request remaining open. (For the record, the reference you cited was <ref>{{cite book|last=James|first=Doug|title=Walter Cronkite: His life and Times|year=1991|publisher=J M Press|location=Brentwood, Tennessee|pages=231}}</ref/>. You did sign your post, but a formatting anomaly obscured your signature.) Rivertorch (talk) 08:14, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. I would support posting that Cronkite chose his successor as part of the Cronkite page, but perhaps the fact that CBS couldn't come to a decision between Mudd and Rather could be for the CBS News page. So I'd allow saying "CBS decided to give the choice to Cronkite . . . experience in news coverage." Profperry (talk) 15:24, 11 December 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ James, Doug (1991). Walter Cronkite: His life and Times. Brentwood, Tennessee: J M Press. p. 231. 

Semi-protected edit request on 7 March 2014[edit]

Cronkite also appeared in the 2005 documentary “Race to the Moon,” which was shown as part of the PBS American Experience series. The film, renamed in 2013 as “Earthrise: The First Lunar Voyage,” centered on the events that led up to NASA’s Apollo 8 mission. Big Ocean Films (talk) 21:40, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 22:08, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Addition to "Political Activism"[edit]

Under "Political Activism", I would change the third sentence to the following: “Cronkite was the honorary chairman of The Interfaith Alliance, and in 1998 spoke out against the Christian Coalition, referring to it as a well-funded “genuinely radical movement” that possesses a “militant ideology”.” Citation would be either the article mentioned or the actual YouTube video it is shown in (which is titled "Christopher Hitchens on Politics, Cuba, the Clinton Impeachment (2000)", with the relevant citation starting at 55:47), which is an important tidbit of information to demonstrate that Cronkite was not simply in favour of the Interfaith Alliance, but also openly hostile to sectarian faith groups. (The link could, I believe, be easily formatted properly according to Wikipedia’s guidelines, but I believe the Youtube video would be a good source because the print version of the article is quoted directly by Brian Lamb on C-SPAN, and, being YouTube, would not necessarily require logging in to a newspaper archive in order to confirm the authenticity of the source.)Asteventon6 (talk) 01:53, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 29 September 2015[edit]

Public credibility and trustworthiness[edit]

Walter Cronkite hosting 61st annual Peabody Awards.

For many years, until a decade after he left his post as anchor,[1] Wes-unruh (talk) 18:24, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Your requested edit is unclear, Please state it as Change X to Y format.- McMatter (talk)/(contrib) 19:11, 29 September 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Bianco, Robert (July 17, 2009). "Cronkite's passing: A death in everyone's family". USA Today. Retrieved July 18, 2009.